Users of class A drugs in UK face losing passport, say reports of proposals

Users of class A drugs in the UK would face losing their passports or driving licences under proposals reportedly set to be unveiled this week.

Boris Johnson will this week launch a 10-year plan to tackle drug-related crime, which will include travel bans, harsher sentences for drug dealers and measures to break up county lines gangs.

According to the Sun on Sunday, some of the measures will be designed to target “middle class” users to act as a “deterrent for well-off professionals who peddle coke at swanky clubs and dinner parties”.

“We need to look at new ways of penalising them. Things that will actually interfere with their lives,” the prime minister told the paper. “So we will look at taking away their passports and driving licences.”

He added: “What I want to see is a world in which we have penalties for lifestyle drug users that will seriously interfere with their enjoyment of their own lifestyles.”

The civil penalties will be modelled on sanctions already used against parents who fail to pay child maintenance and banning orders for football hooligans, the Sun said.

The announcement will come as the Sunday Times revealed sniffer dogs could be deployed across the parliamentary estate under plans for a drug crackdown by the Commons authorities.

The Conservative MP Charles Walker, who chairs the administration committee, said the issue would be discussed by the body responsible for the administration and services of the Commons next week.

“The House of Commons has a long history of using sniffer dogs to detect explosives,” he told the paper. “It may be that we now need to broaden the range of sniffer dogs … to include those which can detect drugs.”

The Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has said police will be called in amid growing evidence of cocaine use in parliament.

Funding for addiction treatment and recovery services across 50 local authorities with the most challenging drug issues will also reportedly be announced as part of the 10-year crackdown on drugs.

The government announced in July it would establish a new unit to help end illegal drug-related illness and deaths, as the second part of Dame Carol Black’s independent review of drugs was released.

The first phase of the review, which was published in February, estimated there were 300,000 opiate or crack cocaine users in England, and about 1 million people had used cocaine in the past year.

Drug poisoning deaths are at a record high, having increased by almost 80% since 2012.

Black’s review estimated that the illicit drug market in the UK was worth £9.4 bn a year, but cost society more than double that figure in terms of health, crime and societal impacts.

The Guardian

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